Revolutionary War Raids & Skirmishes in 1777
JANUARY OF 1777
FEBRUARY OF 1777
February 2-4, 1777 at Fort McIntosh, Georgia - Around this
time, the Americans had got the the upper hand in Georgia. Tory refugees gathered in East Florida, where Gov. ?? Tonyn was organizing them into a militia and fitting out the privateers.
February 23-March 15, 1777 at Fort McIntosh, Georgia - On
February 23, British Regulars, commanded by Lt. Col. Lewis V. Fuser, Loyalists, and a 600-man party of Creek Indians laid siege to Fort McIntosh. Inside the fort was about 80 Patriots, commanded by Capt. Richard Winn. The Indians set fire to some woods as a diversion. This caused the East Florida Rangers to advance up the road. Col. ?? Brown placed his Rangers and Indians around the fort behind
some small trees and bush. The Loyalists continued to fire on the fort for 7 hours until Brown approached with a flag of truce and demanded the surrender of the fort. Winn asked for an hour to consider the request, and Brown agreed.
MARCH OF 1777
March 23, 1777 at Peekskill, New York - The previous November,
Gen. George Washington had left 3,300 troops here to watch over the Hudson Highlands. Although in the intervening months, large quanities of military supplies had been stored at the post, the great majority of the troops were gone and Massachusetts had ignored Washington's request for 8 regiments to hold it. The post was manned by only 250 troops under Gen Alexander McDougall. On March 23, 10 British ships disembarked 500 British soldiers for an attack on this storehouse. McDougall withdrew from the town of Peekskill, requesting Col. Marinus Willett to send troops over from Fort Montgomery across the Hudson River. The British advance-guard burned the American barracks and some military supplies. Willett arrived
with 80 men and unsuccessfully urged McDougall to attack.
APRIL OF 1777
April 27, 1777 at Ridgefield, Connecticut - Brig. Gen.
Benedict Arnold, sulking at his sister's house in New haven because he was passed over for promotion to major general, learned of Maj. Gen. William Tryon's attack on Danbury. He saddled up and rode to Redding, where Brig. Gens. David Wooster and Gold Silliman were situated with 600 men total. They marched to Bethel and arrived early in the morning of April 27. Having learned that the British
would be returning to Norwalk, they divided into 2 seperate units. Arnold and Silliman headed for Ridgefield with 400 men, while Wooster set out to harass the British rear-guard with 200 men. Wooster skirmished repeatedly until he was mortally wounded only 2 miles from Ridgefield; his men retreated after Wooster was wounded. At Ridgefield, Arnold was joined by 100 more militia. They barricaded
the road at the north of town and fired as the british approached. About to be outflanked, the Americans retreated. Arnold was nearly captured when he became entangled in his stirrups as his horse was shot from under him. He shot an attacking Tory that was demanding his surrender and managed to untangle himself and escaped.
April 28, 1777 at Norwalk, Connecticut - Maj. Gen. William
Tryon made his way to Compo Hill, close to where he would board his ships. Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold's men formed up for an attack, but 400 British troops, led by Gen. ?? Erskine charged them with bayonets and the Americans scattered. Tryon's men boarded the ships and sailed off. The 2-day encounter had cost the Americans about 60 casualties, including 20 dead. The exact British losses were
unclear, though they had at least 60 dead.
MAY OF 1777
May 10, 1777 at Piscataway, New Jersey - On May 10, hoping to
surprise the British 42nd Highlanders that was posted at Piscataway, Maj. Gen. Adam Stephen, with about 150 men, attacked them. Piscataway is located between Brunswick and Amboy. The Americans were driven off, with the British pursuing them for almost 3 miles to the American camp at Metuchen. Gen. George Washington investigated the engagement, causing him to write a strong letter to Stephen
expressing how displeased he was with Stephen's conduct.
May 17, 1777 at Thomas' Swamp, Florida - Col. Augustine
Prevost led a motley group of Indians, Rangers, and British regulars against Col. John Baker's small American force of 109 men. The British quickly routed the Americans. After the battle, Prevost and his regulars struggled to save the American prisoners when the Indians began to massacre them, killing over half the prisoners before the British gained control of the
May 23-24, 1777 at Sag Harbor, New York - On May 23-24, a
Patriot raiding force from Guilford, Connecticut, crossed Long Island Sound. They surprised a British foraging party at Sag Harbor. After destroying 12 British ships, and causing many casualties, the raiders went back to Guilford.
JUNE OF 1777
June 21-22, 1777 at Brunswick, New Jersey - The town of
Brunswick was also known as New Brunswick. The town became the major British outpost in New Jersey. By the end of March 1777, American intelligence reported that around 7,800 British and German troops in the vincinity. With his efforts to lure Gen. George Washington into an open battle bearing no fruit, Gen. Sir William Howe withdrew Gen. Philip von Heister's troops from Middlebrook to the anchor
post of New Brunswick.
June 26, 1777 at Woodbridge, New Jersey - Gen. William Howe
sent Gen. Charles Cornwallis' force through Woodbridge to attempt to outflank the American left while he moved to Metuchen meeting House. Howe sent still a third detachment to Bonham Town to confront Maj. Gens. Nathanial Greene and Anthony Wayne. On the outskirts of Woodbridge, Cornwallis encountered Lord Stirling. Though outnumbered 2-to-1, Stirling's division fought valiantly, and suffered
perhaps 100 men killed. Gen. George Washington took advantage of the delay in Cornwallis' advance to withdraw the main army to the protected positions at Middlebrook. Howe's tactics had failed, and he began to withdraw all of his troops to staten Island.
JULY OF 1777
July 2, 1777 at Fort Ticonderoga, New York - On July 2, at
3:00 P.M., the advanced elements of Brig. Gen. Simon Fraser's light infantry began sniping at the American position. This provoked a furious series of volleys. When the smoke cleared, no one had been injured on either side. Brig. Gen. Baron von Riedesel pushed forward to the marshy banks of Eagle Creek at the foot of Mount Independence. Here, his men came under fire from American batteries on the
heights. This engagement ended in an indecisive conclusion.
July 6, 1777 at Skenesborough, New York - The hamlet of
Skenesborough, sometimes known as Skenesboro, was located on the southwestern shore of Lake Champlain and had served as the construction site of the small United States Navy fleet assembled by Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold in 1775. In the summer of 1777, a small American naval presence remained at
Skenesborough and was afforded protection by an iron chain stretched between the banks of the lake. On July 6, Maj. Gen. John Burgoyne’s British navy made short work of the chain by breaking it with well-placed cannon shots. The
American defenders attempted to destroy their poorly maintained fortifications and hurriedly departed for the safer confines of Fort Anne to the south. An advance British unit claimed the handful of American ships at Skenesborough as well as food supplies and several cannon. A small party pursued the fleeing rebels and the remainder awaited the arrival of Burgoyne, who had dispatched a portion of
his army into the interior at Hubbardton.
July 9, 1777 at Newport, Rhode Island - Militia Lt. Col.
William Barton conceived a plan to capture Gen. Richard Prescott, the commander of the British forces in Rhode Island, and to offer him in exchange for Maj. Gen. Charles Lee. During the night of July 9, barton set out with 40 volunteers from his company in 5 bateaux. They landed on the western shore at
Newport, moved a mile inland, and captured Prescott and his aide-de-camp.
July 22, 1777 at Oconee River, Georgia - On July 22, a party
of Creek Indians stole some horses from a Patriot camp at Long Creek. The camp was composed of a company of the 1st Georgia Regiment Continentals, commanded by Capt. Thomas Dooly, and a Virginia militia unit. Dolly took himself and 9 Georgians to pursue the Indians. The Indians set up an ambush near the Oconee River. When Dooly entered the ambush site, the Indians attacked. Of the 10 men, only 3
wounded men managed to escape back to their camp. Dooly was one of the 7 men who were killed.
July 29-30, 1777 at Fort Edward, New York - Brig. Gen. Philip Schuyler abandoned Fort edward and marched down the Hudson River to saratoga. His delaying tactics had slowed Gen. John Burgoyne and his British force advance to a crawl. The natural
landscape was hazardous enough, with numerous ravines, fallen trees, and swamps; and Schuyler's men had compounded the difficulties for Burgoyne by cutting down scores of trees, rolling boulders down the hillsides, and dug ditches to create more swampland. Consequently, it had taken Burgoyne's army 24 days to travel 23 miles. As Burgoyne approached Fort Edward, the retreating American force put
the torch to crops and grasslands, withdrawing settlers and their cattle as they proceeded, to deny the British forage, horses, and meat.
AUGUST OF 1777
August ??, 1777 at Reedy River, South Carolina - In August,
Capt. Richard Pearis was raising Loyalists men to go to Mobile to fight for the British. He managed to gather up 400 men. The local Patriot militia learned of this gathering and raided the Loyalist camp on the Reedy River. Many of the Loyalists were captured but most of them managed to escape. The captured Loyalists were sent to Ninety-Six and
August 22, 1777 at Setauket, New York - On August 22, 500
Patriot troops, led by Col. Abraham Parsons, came ashore from Fairfield, Conn. Setauket was defended by 150 Tories, commanded by Lt. Col. Richard Hewlett. The battle started with a short cannonade and followed up with 5 hours of fighting, they unsuccessfully tried to force the British out of Setauket, retreating across the Sound when word came that English ships were about to close off their
SEPTEMBER OF 1777
September 1, 1777 at Fort Henry, Virginia - On September 1,
400 Indians laid siege to Fort Henry, named in honor of Patrick henry. The settlers took refuge in the fort before the Indians attacked. Several soldiers died in skirmishes outside the walls before the siege began. After American reinforcements arrived, the Indians burned the settlement, killed livestock, and then withdrew. In the end, there was not any deaths among ther fort's
September 12, 1777 at Chester, Pennsylvania (Occupation of Chester) - On September 12, Gen. George Washington and the American army were withdrawing from Brandywine towards Chester. Maj. Gen. William Howe and the British army was following the Americans during their retreat. While Washington continued through Chester, when the British entered the town, they occupied it.
September 16, 1777 at Warren, Pennsylvania - In the days
following his defeat at the Battle of Brandywine, Gen. George Washington was intent on accomplishing two contradictory tasks: protecting Philadelphia from British forces under Gen. Sir William Howe and replenishing rapidly dwindling supplies and munitions from stockpiles in Reading, Pennsylvania. For reasons known only to Howe, the British did not immediately pursue Washington's retreating
Continental Army after the victory of September 11. Instead, Howe remained in camp for several days along Brandywine Creek, then resumed the chase. Washington received word of the British advance and chose to make a stand at a location on a valley road between Lancaster and Philadelphia. Skirmishing began on September 16 and British forces initiated flanking movements around the American lines.
Before the armies were fully engaged, however, rain began and quickly turned into a steady downpour. Powder became wet, making the firearms useless. This "battle" in the clouds of rain and fog never developed. Washington withdrew his forces, led his army to Reading for supplies and left behind a small force under Anthony Wayne to harass the presumed British movement toward Philadelphia. Howe's
army found it nearly impossible to follow Washington over the rutted, muddy roads. The decision was made to wait out the storm, then move toward their objective. Wayne established a camp near Paoli, where he would be surprised by a British raid a few days later.
September 16, 1777 at Warren, Pennsylvania - On September
16, both British and American forces prepared for a major engagement in the vicinity of Warren or White Horse Tavern. Heavy rain that day made the cartridge boxes too wet to be used and the American forces decided to withdraw.
September 18, 1777 at Fort Ticonderoga, New York - American
detachments raided the vicinity of Fort Ticonderoga. They captured 300 british and managed to free 100 Patriot prisoners. The raid was a severe blow to the British line of communications.
September 19, 1777 at Bemus Heights, New York - In December,
Gen. Burgoyne concerted with the British ministry a plan for the campaign of 1777. A large force under his command was to go to Albany by way of Lakes Champlain and George, while another body, under Sir
Henry Clinton, advanced up the Hudson. Simultaneously, Col. Barry St. Leger was to make a diversion, by way of Oswego, on the Mohawk river.
September 23, 1777 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Occupation of Philadelphia) - Gen. Charles Cornwallis, marching in with 4 British and 2 Hessien units, took possession of the city of Philadelphia to the acclaim of Loyalist supporters. The main body of his army encamped at germantown. Gen. George Washington moved from Pott's Grove to encamp at Pennybacker's Mill (Schwenksville) on the Perkiomen River. He was not deeply dispirited by the loss of Philadelphia and concentrated his energies on restoring his troops.
September 24, 1777 at Diamond Island, New York - Having
previously captured 300 British troops on the west shore of Lake George, Col. John Brown's Continentals successfully raided the British post at Diamond Island, located south of Ticonderoga. They were unsuccessful in capturing Fort Ticonderoga itself.
OCTOBER OF 1777
October 2, 1777 at Billingsport, New Jersey - Ge. William Howe
and his naval fleet were headed to Philadelphia. The American forces found out his intentions and had blocked the Chesapeake River some miles below the city, about halfway down to Chester. The American works were unimpressive. First, they had blocked the river channel with a line of sunken stakes, and covered them with a small battery at Billings Port. On October 2, the British opened their
operations by easily overrunning the Billingsport work and cut their way through the stakes.
October 5, 1777 at Tarrytown, New York (Occupation of Tarrytown)
- Having assembled his entire force, Gen. Sir Henry Clinton launched his convoy of flatboats, galleys, and bataeaux with his attack force and set out for Verplank's Point, at Tarrytown, on October 5. After he arrived, he quickly seized when the American defenders withdrew without any resistence.
October 8, 1777 at Constitution Island, New York - On October
8, British forces under Gen. Sir Henry Clinton occupied then destroyed Patriot fortifications on Constitution Island.
October 10, 1777 at Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania - Fort Mifflin
was an American fort that covered one end of a band of obstructions across the Delaware River. It was garrisoned by 450 men. The fort was located ooposite of Fort Mercer on Port Island, between Hog Island and Mud Island. The fort was known to have been poorly engineered. On October 10, the British forces on nearby Province
Island began a bombardment against the weak, land side of the fort. The bombardment lasted for about 2 weeks. On October 23, the day after the nearby British/German defeat at the Battle of Fort Mercer, 6 British
man-of-war had managed to approach through a gap that that the British had made in the American chevaux-de-frise. When they neared Fort Mifflin, the fort's guns and the supporting river craft inflicted severe damege to the British ships. Two of the ships, the HMS Augusta and the HMS Merlin, ran aground and were destroyed.
October 16, 1777 at Kingston, New York - Gen. Sir Henry
Clinton had sent Gen. John Vaughn, with 1,700 troops and a flotilla commanded by Capt. Sir James Wallace, upriver in an effort to find and support Gen. John Burgoyne. On October 15, the british force anchored at Kingston. On October 16, the British set fire to most of Kingston and moved on to Livingston's Manor.
October 23, 1777 at Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania - On October
23, British ships were trying to break through the Delaware River defenses and reach Philadelphia. The guns at Fort Mifflin fired on the ships and managed to inflict heavy damage on the British naval force. Only 2 warships were destroyed in the engagement.
NOVEMBER OF 1777
November 20, 1777 at Fort Mercer, New Jersey - With Fort
Mifflin lost to the British, Fort Mercer appeared to be impossible for the Americans to hold because Gen. William Howe effectively controled the entire area from the Delaware River to the Red Bank. Brig. Gen. Nathanael Greene believed the odds were against the Americans. On November 20, Col. Christopher Greene, judging his
garrison to be in a hopeless position, evacuated Fort Mercer with Brig. Gen. Greene's concurrence. The American force burned the fort's buildings and supplies when they finally left. Without a shot being fired, Fort Mercer fell to Gen. Charles Cornwallis. Howe now controlled the Delaware River all the way to Philadelphia. The few American ships that were still upriver were destroyed and burned to
prevent them from being captured by the British.
November 25, 1777 at Gloucester, New Jersey - On November 25,
Brig. Gen. Marquis de Lafayette led a reconnaissance force of 300 Continentals regulars against Gen. Charles Cornwallis' command at the town of Gloucester. Lafayette's outnumbered troops skirmished with a force of Hessiens. The successful engagement against Cornwallis' position occured at Gloucester.
DECEMBER OF 1777
December 6, 1777 at Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania - On December
6, a vanguard of Gen. William Howe's army engaged with a Patriot militia force at Chestnut Hill. After heavy firing from both sides, the militia was forced to withdraw from the area.
December 10, 1777 at Long Island, New York - On December 10,
Col. S.B. Webb and his regiment conducted a raid against the British-held Long Island. The raid was quickly broken up by some British warships. Webb and his men were eventually captured.
December 11, 1777 at Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania - Gen. George Washington's army left Whitemarsh with the intention of crossing the Schuylkill River at Matson's Ford by bridge. They would then proceed to Valley
Forge. Brig. Gen. John Sullivan's division and a half of a second division was already across when the advance unit of a force of 3,500 British regulars, led by Gen. Charles Cornwallis came into
view. Washington ordered his men back across the bridge at matson's Ford, which they subsequently destroyed to stop the Cornwallis from following them. Both sides faced each other on opposite sides of the river. Cornwallis moved off to forage for supplies. Washington returned to Whitemarsh. Niether side could claim a victory.
December 11, 1777 at Matson's Ford, Pennsylvania - On
December 10, late that night, Gen. Charles Cornwallis was sent from Philadelphia with 3,500 troops and almost all the dragoons and mounted German jagers. They were to forage along the south bank of the Schuylkill River. On December
11, Gen. George Washington left White Marsh with his army to travel to their winter quarters at valley Forge. Washington had no idea that the British were heading in the same direction as him. As soon as they crossed the Schuylkill River, Washington's
advance guard accidently ran into the British foraging party at "the Gulph". The Gulph was located near Matson's Ford. The Americans quickly withdrew back across the river, destroying their makeshift bridge along the way.On December 12, the British returned to Philadelphia that evening with 2,000
sheep and cattle. Washington stayed in the vicinity of "the Gulph" for a week before moving on to Valley Forge.
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